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Cyflwyno Cartrefi Cefn Gwlad Cymru/Introducing Houses of the Welsh Countryside [Welsh]
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Table of Contents

'The Medieval Hall', 'The Snowdonian House', 'The Longhouse', 'House of the Welsh Border', 'The Modern House' 'The Cottage'.

About the Author

Richard Suggett is an architectural historian with the Royal Commission and is recognised as one of the leading specialists in Welsh vernacular architecture. Greg Stevenson is a well-known television presenter and a recognised authority on Welsh architecture with hands-on experience in the restoration of vernacular buildings.

Reviews

English review follows Weithiau, fedrwn ni ddim gweld y trysorau sydd o dan ein trwynau, nag o flaen ein llygaid. Fel y gyfres deledu ddiweddar ac ardderchog Cartrefi Cefn Gwlad Cymru, ysbrydolwyd y llyfr hwn gan waith mawr yr adolygydd adeiladau hanesyddol Peter Smith. Yn rhinwedd ei swydd gyda Chomisiwn Brenhinol Henebion Cymru, bu Peter Smith yn crwydro Cymru benbaladr yn archwilio adeiladau hanesyddol. Nid y cestyll a'r plasdai, ond y bythynnod, y ffermdai a'r tai annedd cyffredin, y llefydd hynny sydd, yn wyneb tlodi llym a phrinder adnoddau, yn cyflenwi angen. Cyhoeddwyd ffrwyth ei waith, Houses of the Welsh Countryside, ym 1975. Roedd yn llyfr arloesol, yn procio cydwybod cenedl oedd yn rhy barod o'r hanner i adael i'w hetifeddiaeth bensaernol gynhenid adfeilio, ond yn ddigon parod i dalu parch a rhoi gofal i gofebau mawr ei gorthrwm - y cestyll a'r plasdai crand. Ond bymtheg mlynedd ar hugain yn ddiweddarach, roedd hi'n hen bryd i ni gael olynydd teilwng iddo. A dyma fo. Y peth cyntaf y sylwch arno, wrth afael yn y gyfrol newydd hon, yw ei diwyg, ac mae'r Lolfa i'w llongyfarch ar gynhyrchu llyfr o ansawdd mor uchel. Mae ei rwymiad yn gryf, a phob tudalen yn agor yn hwylus. Cefais bleser o droi'r tudalennau ac arogli'r inc ffres. Yn oes y cyfrifiadur, mae'n werth cofio weithiau fod gan lyfr newydd hud sydd tu hwnt i gyrraedd galluoedd Cwm Silicon. Ond llyfr dwyieithog yw hwn ac, os ca i fynegi un gwyn fach; fu mi erioed yn hoff o'r drefn o rannu pob tudalen yn ddwy a gosod y Gymraeg a'r Saesneg ochr yn ochr am ei fod yn torri ar lif y darllen. Ond gan na fedra' i gynnig cynllun gwell, cwyn fechan iawn yw hon. Mae hwn, fel dywedais i, yn fwy na chydymaith syml i'r gyfres deledu, a heb os, mae'n olynydd teilwng iawn i lyfr Peter Smith. A thra bo'r gyfres deledu yn gaeth i'w slot o gwta awr mae'r llyfr yn rhydd i ganolbwyntio'n llwyr ar yr adeiladau a'u hanes, ac i agor ein llygaid i gyfoeth ein hetifeddiaeth werinol. Ydi'r hanes hwn yn cael ei gyflwyno i ddisgyblion ein hysgolion, 'sgwn i? Go brin, greda' i. Aled Jones *********************************** Sometimes, we just cannot see the treasures that are right under our noses or in front of our eyes. As in the recent excellent television series, Cartrefi Cefn Gwlad Cymru, this book was inspired by the seminal work of the historic buildings investigator, Peter Smith. Working for the Royal Commission on Ancient Monuments, Smith searched all over the Welsh countryside looking for, and recording ancient buildings. Not the castles or stately homes but the farmhouses and cottages of common folk, those testaments to human invention, which, even at times of extreme poverty and with precious few resources, met a need and resolved a necessity. The fruits of Smith's monumental labour were published as Houses of the Welsh Countryside in 1975. This was an important work, and a wake-up call to a nation far too willing to allow the humble gems of its native architectural heritage disappear, while the blatant symbols of its oppression - the castles and country houses - were treasured. Inevitably though, Peter Smith's book was dependent on the printing technology of its age and testimony to the fact that so many of the buildings Smith found were dismal, long-neglected ruins. A worthy successor was long overdue, and at last, here it is. It would have been so easy for the authors, Richard Suggett of the Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Houses of Wales, and the architectural historian, Greg Stevenson, to produce a souvenir of the television series in the form of a slim and simple booklet. But this book is far more than that. The first thing you notice is its quality. Y Lolfa is to be congratulated on the high production values evident in this book. Well bound, the pages turn easily, and they have that bewitching inky aroma of a freshly printed tome. In the computer era, it is sometimes worth remembering that a book has a tactile, sensual charm far beyond Silicon Valley's ability to replicate. The standard of printing is excellent, and this book reads well on a visual level. This is a bilingual work, and that does lead me to one small complaint; I have never liked the fashion for laying both languages side by side on every page as it interrupts the flow of the text. But that is a very minor criticism of what is otherwise a well-made book. And when the aroma fades, you still have the contents. This, if I may repeat myself, is a very worthy successor to Peter Smith's book. And, while the television series was subject to the constraints of its time allocation, the book is free to concentrate wholy on the buildings and their history. Here is a history well worth reading, whichever language you choose. Is this history taught in our schools? I doubt it, more's the pity. Although, in the case of the majority of buildings discussed in this book, form inevitably followed function and aesthetic considerations would not have been high on the original builders' list of priorities, many of these buildings do have a special beauty of their own. Often it is a dignified, simple beauty stemming from the honest simplicity of their construction. And they are often beautiful in their antiquity as well, as recorded in this work. Aled Jones Gellir defnyddio'r adolygiad hwn at bwrpas hybu, ond gofynnir i chi gynnwys y gydnabyddiaeth ganlynol: Adolygiad oddi ar www.gwales.com, trwy ganiatd Cyngor Llyfrau Cymru. It is possible to use this review for promotional purposes, but the following acknowledgment should be included: A review from www.gwales.com, with the permission of the Welsh Books Council. -- Welsh Books Council

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